1964 Yamaha Trailmaster 80

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1964 Yamaha Trailmaster 80.
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No tach on the 1964 Yamaha Trailmaster 80, just shift when it gets noisy.
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Small but efficient, the 81cc engine on the 1964 Yamaha Trailmaster 80 is a gem. Also, note the pop can-style air filter.
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Note the big rear sprocket on the Yamaha Trailmaster 80.
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1964 Yamaha Trailmaster 80.
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1964 Yamaha Trailmaster 80.

Yamaha Trailmaster 80 
Years produced:
 1964-1966
Claimed power: 6.2hp @ 10,000 rpm
Top speed: 41mph
Engine type: 81cc 2-stroke, air-cooled single
Weight (dry): 63.5kg (140lbs)
Price then/now: $367/$1,000 – $2,500
MPG: 170

When you think of a vintage small-bore Japanese motorcycle for running in-town errands or slinging mud on a weekend camping trip, what comes to mind?

For many it’s a Honda Trail 90. But if you want something different, the Yamaha Trailmaster 80, might be the bike for you, and in many respects it surpasses its more heralded competition. 

Out of the shadows
In the early 1960s, Yamaha was best known in America for its larger YD series of machines. It wasn’t until the introduction of the YG series in 1963 (and the lesser-known YJ series of 1964) that the small-bore crowd was treated to Yamaha’s wonderful mix of style, sportiness and 2-stroke innovation.

The Yamaha YG1 was the more mainstream street-oriented machine, with a full front fender, two-place seat and sporty two-tone paint schemes. Today, the occasional YG1 comes up on eBay and would prove an excellent street machine on its own merits. But it’s the YG-1T, or Yamaha Trailmaster 80, that is getting our attention, as it deserves a little spotlight of its own, out from the shadows of the all-powerful Honda Trail.

Motorcycle Classics Magazine
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